Dear Jamie

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“Dear Jamie, Well here I am, it’s about 2:00pm, Monday afternoon. I decided to take a break and write a letter. I’m sitting in the Beach Pavilion overlooking the Gulf to the south and Seaside to the north. The ocean is absolutely perfect brilliant aqua &  green and smooth. The sky is clear and it’s about 55 degrees.Awfully perfect, only wish I had your company…

In this letter Tom describes to me the brilliant aqua and emerald color of the water and clear cloudless blue skies and this still rings true today.

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Grayton Beach, brilliant blue sky and emerald waters

In the beginning a Butler beach cottage is where Tom was housed by Robert Davis in the few months before I was able to join him from Miami. The cottages did not have a telephone, television, air conditioning, barely running water, and it was without insulation in the winter months with only a small room size heater. He LOVED it! Those cottages are long gone, replaced with huge “modernized” McCottages now, and very few examples are left of the original vernacular cottages of old Grayton.

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Vernacular cottage from 1940 circa repurposed country store/gas station moved to the site in the late in the 1950’s as as family retreat.

Their names are Butler, Florence, Patterson, Eyer, Belcher, Cannon, Taylor, Haynes and a handful more that made up the early families in Grayton Beach, Florida, when this letter was received by me, from my husband Tom, and it was those families which welcomed us into the fold of the small beach hamlet nestled in the dunes. When friends asked us where we had moved, we had to always describe our little corner of Shangri-La as somewhere between Jacksonville and Pensacola and work towards the “between Panama City to Destin” location. It’s no longer necessary to give this descriptive location as 30A has been found!

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One of the last old cottages left in Grayton Beach, Florida

to be continued…

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